Rumor Mill: Nokia to release 6-inch Windows Phone phablet, codenamed 'Bandit'

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) is currently testing a 6-inch phablet device running the latest Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Phone software with AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T), and plans to release the gadget before year-end, according to a report from The Verge.

The report, citing unnamed sources, said that the device, codenamed "bandit," will sport a quad-core Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon processor, a 20-megapixel camera and a 1080p HD display. The device will be among many 1080p Windows Phones coming out, the report said.

A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment.

The report said Microsoft is currently tweaking Windows Phone to support large-screen devices like the Bandit, including with additions like an extra row of Live Tiles on the Start screen,  rotation lock, a Driving Mode option and some other UI changes.

Thus far, Nokia has focused on imaging technology and location services rather than compete with Samsung Electronics, Huawei and other Android vendors on large-screen form factors. Samsung especially has found success with the phablet form factor through its Galaxy Note line, and others have been angling to crack the market their own super-large phones. (Samsung just announced that it will bring the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega smartphone to the U.S. market.)

Interestingly, the report also said Nokia is planning to release its Lumia 925 handset on additional U.S. carriers sometime soon. The gadget is currently exclusive to T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS), and extending availability could increase sales.

Nokia in the second quarter shipped a record 7.4 million Lumia smartphones, but its average selling price fell. Nokia's low-end phone sales also missed analyst estimates. The company shipped 53.7 million basic phones in the period. Overall Nokia is trying to get Lumia sales to make up for falling sales of feature phones, and it is also promoting its low-cost Asha brand as part of the effort to boost overall volumes.

In the North American market, Nokia shipped 500,000 devices, and most of them were likely Lumia smartphones. That figure is down slightly from the 600,000 devices Nokia shipped in the market in the year-ago quarter but up slightly from the 400,000 the company shipped in the first quarter of this year.

Nokia's North American sales figures were notable considering Nokia has made a concerted push to increase sales and exposure in the U.S. market, specifically through new Lumia devices available from AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and others.

For more:
- see this The Verge article

Related Articles:
Nokia rolls out Windows Phone Amber update to Lumia smartphones
Gartner: Windows Phone sales eclipse BlackBerry for first time in Q2
Nokia exec frustrated with pace of Windows Phone software updates
Microsoft scrambles to quell a Windows Phone user insurrection
Nokia's 7.4M Lumia shipments in Q2 miss estimates, Elop cuts more jobs
Can enhanced camera functionality alone help Nokia regain its smartphone supremacy?